Vegan firms should target meat eaters

The meat-free market is expected to hit $5.2bn by 2020

Meat eaters with an appetite for vegetables could be a cash cow for meat-free food companies, according to data from Innova Market Insights. 

The research company said that the rise of flexitarianism – the habit of occasionally eating meat - had opened the door to new marketing opportunities for vegan and vegetarian food producers, who should be targetting meat eaters and non-red-meat eaters.

This trend represents a growing opportunity for high-quality meat alternatives, which is also being reflected in the 24% average annual growth in global meat substitute launches recorded between 2011 and 2015,” said Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation at Innova Market Insights.

Strategies to unlock the potential for growth in the flexitarian market will be addressed by Innova Market Insight at the IFT 2016 trade show in Chicago, 16-19 July.


Germany tops the list of nations leading meat-free trends and boasts high levels of new product development in the meat alternative market. Nearly 70% of consumers in Germany also claim to eat one meatless meal a week. The US, at 38%, is significantly behind Germany, but 120m peole have a meat-free meal a week, which represents a big opportunity, according to Innova.

Williams said a “key area of opportunity” in the meat substitutes market may be targeting meat-eaters as much as vegetarians.

While many vegetarians may opt for a diet rich in vegetables and beans, meat eaters may turn to meat substitutes if the product is right. Instead of just finding alternatives, technological solutions also need to be focusing on the development of meat substitutes closely mimicking the taste and texture of meat products.

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